Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Gran's pud

It's official! My Christmas preparations are well and truly underway. Yes, I know it's only December 4th, but even so, I am determined to introduce a little festive sparkle to my world! For me, Christmas is all about warmth and family and this year especially, I want our first Christmas in our new home to hug us all tightly together.

My office/dining Christmas tree

This weekend has been the perfect time to hunt out my fairy lights, purchase a tiny tree for my workroom, hide away gifts in preparation for wrapping and for the twenty fourth year in a row, mix my Gran's Christmas pudding recipe! Next weekend I plan to hunt down a real pine tree for the living room and decorate that room too!
The All Bear workroom's teeny tiny Christmas tree! Yes, it really is purple and pink!
On Saturday, I spent a lovely day shopping for Christmas presents with my mother and my daughter. A triple generational Christmas gift hunt! We shopped 'til we dropped, Fay and I squirted perfume samples until we couldn't remember which was which and then took Mum to our favourite shops. We spent ages choosing goodies in 'The Pier', a shop bursting with beautiful bits n' bobs and as my youngest sister has a new baby arriving in the New Year, we also had the perfect excuse to visit baby departments and coo over teeny tiny baby clothes.

When our tiddler arrives, there will be almost a quarter of a century between the oldest and youngest grandchildren in our family, Fay, my daughter, being the oldest. In the New Year there will be ten grandchildren in all! The big question is, will Laura have a boy or a girl? To-date we only have one boy in the family, my son Anthony, so the family is in a guessing game spin!

Later this week as many of us as possible (I have four sisters!) will wend our way to Mum's for a mince pie evening. Mum has been busy setting up her Christmas lights in readinness for her grandchildren and this year, has even added a nodding reindeer to her grotto! With family spread far and wide these days, this is an important time for us all.
Gran's Christmas pud

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I've mixed my Christmas pudding, steamed it for the required eight hours and it is now ready for a further three hours steaming on Christmas morning. The recipe for this pud has been handed down through my family and even now I can clearly remember the wonderful spicey aroma wafting through my parent's house on Christmas morning when I was child. I've always used this receipe for my own family Christmasses, with a slight adaption so that Fay, who is diabetic, can enjoy it with us. If you would you like to share our Christmas pudding, here is our receipe ... enjoy!


Cooking time: 6-8 hours
Preparation: 45 minutes
Utensils: One 2 pint basin. Saucepan. Steamer. Foil or greaseproof paper.


4 oz flour (use wholemeal for diabetic option)
2 oz breadcrumbs (use wholemeal for diabetic option)
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
4 oz shredded suet (use vegetable suet for diabetic option)
40z brown sugar (20z for diabetic option)
4 oz grated apple
1 small grated carrot
4 oz crystallised peel (no peel for diabetic option)
2 eggs
4 oz currants
4 oz sultanas
8 oz raisins
2 oz chopped prunes or dried apricots
4 oz chopped blanched almonds
grated rind 1/2 lemon
1 tsp black treacle (don't use for diabetic option)
1/4 pint guinness (or stout/beer/milk if preferred)


1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Leave overnight.
3. Stir again.
4. Put into greased 2 pint basin.
5. Cover with foil or greaseproof paper. Grease inside of paper to keep pudding dry.
6. Steam for 6-8 hours.
7. Remove wet covers as soon as pudding is cooked.
8. Put on dry greased covers and re-steam for 2/3 hours on Christmas morning.

To Serve:

Turn pudding out of bowl, bring to table, slosh a spoonful of brandy over and for dramatic effect, flambe! (Carefully!)

Serve with brandy butter made by creaming 4oz butter, 6oz icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of brandy. (Not recommended for diabetics!)

Or, (my personal favourite!) serve with clotted cream.

Or, serve with double cream, ice-cream, brandy or cointreau flavoured cream ... oh yum ... let your imagination and your tastebuds go wild!

Finally, I would like to share my latest 'Santa's Sack' bear with you. She is pictured sitting on my dining room table, did you spot her? 'Angelica' is the little peach panda cub I was thinking about in an earlier posting ... I hope you like her!


  1. ooooh Paula, that pudding recipe sounds scrumptious! My Mums diabetic too and it's usually such a shame she can't eat all the goodies at Christmas, so I'm so glad you popped the recipe on your blog.Big thanks!
    P.s. Your new panda looks yummy too!
    Hugs, Sarah

  2. Hi Sarah! I've just noticed I didn't type the sugar on the recipe, so if you use it, please check back through ... I've revised it now! Needless to say, even though the recipe has been tweaked for Fay, it's still pretty sugar heavy because of the natural fruit sugars, so diabetic portions shouldn't be too large. Fay always enjoys this version though and doesn't suffer any ill consequences if she has it in moderation, balanced with a tiny bit more insulin to cover the festive food intake. To be honest, I prefer the tweaked version of this recipe too - it's lovely and moist and fruity, without being too heavy or rich.


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